I lay in the warm glow of my husband Clive’s arms last night, where I feel most alive in every delightful cell of my body. It seems to draw electric energy from his fingertips. Being home, and being healthy (following a successful procedure to plug the hole in my leaking spine), both seem like luxurious novelties still; I can’t quite believe they are real, and have intermittent and uneasy premonitions that they might vanish again at any second.
Relationships are such intimate things; they seem too precious to share, and expose to the cruel light of other’s judgement, seeming to lose their magic away from the intensity of a moment shared. They also have very specific, though usually unspecified boundaries of trust and silence that bind two people into the absolute safety necessary for intimate sharing. Yet I find myself wanting to wage a gentle war on at least some areas of silence – not the gentle, instinctively understood ones within my marriage but the restrictive ones in my conversations with the world outside it. I am seeking my true voice, and it does not care of societal prejudice against honest sharing about death, sexual love, discomfort, tenderness, and sorrow.
I wrote a short poem for Clive on an aeroplane, flying back to London from my mother’s memorial all those months (a lifetime, surely?) ago. At the time I thought in an unfinished beginning, but later decided I liked its brief simplicity. In between writing about loss, I found a refuge from tears and sorrow in reflecting on my ever-growing love for him. I considered posting it before, but it seemed too personal, too intimate, and written besides only to express a particular sentiment to a specific person. Now I think: why should this not be shared? I would never hold my relationship up as an example of perfection, because it is simply what it is: two humans who have chosen to spend part of their lives together, and have had moments of magic and times of conflict, confusion, and ill-advised actions and words (the latter mostly from me).
But firstly I have come to believe that we all might be wiser and better prepared for life if it was more openly discussed, in all its manifestations. Secondly, why should the joys of life not be shared if we find within us an impulse to do so, whether we find them in a flower’s simple beauty, or the joy of another’s body?
So, after thinking it prudent to first sound out his comfort level with my draft before posting this, because sharing magic would be pointless if doing so would make the one I love uncomfortable, I will leave you with the few lines I wrote for my beloved Clive:
You connect me,
Our togetherness growing in slow-tuned harmony;
Each adjustment brings a sweeter sound.